The idea of being calm makes me uncomfortable; it's unnatural. It's like I don't feel human if I'm not worried or panicked about something.
Just relax, they tell me.
But what about this, I say, but what about that? What about...
My whole Cutting for the Spring plan is out of wack. I know I'm making progress by counting my calories and lifting 4 days a week but my weight has increased and plateaued. For months I was used to stepping on the scale every morning for confirmation that my program was working but now it just flashes a digital middle finger at me.
What am I doing wrong? I ask.
I'm stressed as f*ck, I answer.
On top of this fitness challenge, I've been stressing over my PhD program as well. I spent the last month rewriting more than 22,000 words from past to present tense but then, yesterday while I was reading a book for inspiration, I panicked after having an epiphany and wanted to re-write the whole thing. My mind was buzzing with ideas of new character traits, plot twists, possible conclusions when instead, I should've just taken a breath and kept reading.
I'm making life too hard on myself right now, stressing about things I don't need to stress about: where's my novel going, make time to see friends, don't be an introvert, lose weight, get stronger, blog, two more years of school, not having an income, not having a career, living 3,000 miles away from my family.
Are these the triggers of my anxiety? If I dig, will I find that the root of my anxiety goes deeper than public embarrassment? Does it start with a thought like this: I don't know what I'm doing with my life and escalate to getting dizzy in a grocery store check-out hours later? Yeah, that sounds about right.
Now, I take a breath and I focus on today. Not tomorrow, not next month, not three years from now. Today.
"It's always been me vs the world, until I found it's me vs me."
- Bekon & Kid Capri intro, Kendrick Lamar's track DUCKWORTH.